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Introductions From 2011


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#41 Julia P.

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 07:39 PM

Thanks, Angela for the welcome :)

Great Oaks from little acorns grow.


What a great image! I pray that my little acorn will grow into a mighty oak some day.

#42 J.D. Duttweiler

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 03:44 PM

Greetings! While I am not a new member of this forum, it has been so many years that I posted anything that I thought it useful to post another introduction. My name is Jonathan (or Jon) David, though on forums I have usually gone by J-D. My saint's name is "David" for St. David of Wales. I was chrismated on Holy Saturday in 2004 after about a 3 year inquiry and 8 month catechumate. I am a sub-deacon in the OCA and attend St. John the Wonderworker parish in Atlanta, Georgia. While, as I indicated, I have not posted here in years I do frequently follow the conversations here so rather than simply jump into a conversation as an unknown, I thought I would post here first. I pray all are having a positive fast as we enter into this last week of Lent!

#43 Archimandrite Irenei

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Posted 11 April 2011 - 10:59 PM

Welcome to our new members!

#44 Paul DeBaufer

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 02:50 PM

I never know what to say, not so comfortable talking about myself, but....

I was what has been termed a neo-atheist for the majority of my life. I persecuted the church, thought that all religions, and Christianity in particular, were blocks to human knowledge and should be done away with. Through experiences in prison and then paroling, against my wishes, into a Christian rehab program I eventually became a believer in 2005. I tend towards open and relational theologies. I am currently in the United Methodist Church. I cannot rightly call myself Protestant, yet I am not RCC or Orthodox either. Having been exposed to fundamentalist evangelicalism which is mainly Reformed/neoCalvinism I reject such theologies. I am drawn to the Wesleyan tradition.

I am here to learn about Orthodox theology especially concerning the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Baptism as well as thoughts on the Trinity.

Thank you for having me.

#45 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 15 April 2011 - 04:06 PM

Welcome, I hope you find what you are looking for here.

#46 Dennis Justison

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 12:05 PM

Hi Paul, and welcome. I used to be part of a Catholic retreat program in prison. Many amazing miracles happened in those years. Sometimes I wonder if we made any difference, and then I remember some of the individual stories. Keep on the path, wherever it leads you, follow the Lord and you will have peace.

#47 J.D. Duttweiler

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Posted 16 April 2011 - 03:18 PM

Welcome Paul! As someone who was a UMC minister and strongly Wesleyan/Arminian for a long time, I appreciate where you're coming from. Orthodoxy is not principally a "system", but an "experience". While much of the language used in Orthodox theology is the same as other Christian theological systems, it usually has a different meaning or emphasis. This results is some "talking past" one another in dialogues unless one is aware of these differences. Not to steer you away from here, but if you are theologically inclined, I would suggest a reading of Vladimir Lossky's "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church" and Fr. John Romanides' "The Ancestral Sin" as quite valuable and instructive when coming from a Western theological perspective.

#48 Steven Burton

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 01:46 AM

Well lets see here. I am of the Wesleyan tradition (Church of the Nazarene). I lean towards the open and relational theologies as Paul is. He is actually the reason I found this site. I was what you would called fundamentalist. But after some schooling and reading and hard thought I found I did not really agree with those trains of thought. Which is where I found myself leaning towards Open theism and Relational Holiness.

I have more questions than answers and would like to learn more about Orthodox Theology.

#49 Paul Kensicki

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 04:27 PM

Hello All,
Christ is Risen!!!
My name is Paul. I was Baptised and Chrismated into our church 15 years ago at the age of 42. Prior to that I had no faith, and no religious background of any sort. I considered myself an atheist. I visited an Orthodox mission to help my kids learn that there was more to Pascha than the Easter Bunny and found my home there. I've never left. It is good to be with all of you!

#50 Nina

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:43 PM

Wow! Thank you for sharing your so nice stories and welcome Steven and Paul! :)

#51 Melaniya

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 08:13 PM

Christ is risen! Христос воскресе!
My name is Melaniya. I was originally baptized Catholic as an infant with the name Molly and requested the priest give me a Orthodox saint's name when I was chrismated into Orthodoxy as an adult.

Our merciful God has so blessed my life with His grace, through the trials and joys He allows, and especially through the presence of His saints and the guidebook for salvation we are given in the Orthodox church.

I live in the country outside St Petersburg, Russia, having emigrated here about 20 years ago from the US. The Lord took control of my heart when I was 15 years old and first read Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. The 19th century Russia he described seemed to call to me and I couldn't rest until I made my first trip to Russia in 1990. At that time I had been practicing as a homebirth midwife for a few years and had the crazy idea that the combination of a new post-perestroika Russia and delivering babies side by side with Russians would have incredible potential for the transformation of souls... And so that's what I did for about 15 years, working with small groups of brave young American women, assisting even braver Russian women to give birth with joy inside the Russian medical system.

Even as a girl in America I felt that our life of abundance and striving for material gain was all wrong, and that what a person needed in order to get closer to God was suffering. It was with this burning sense of spiritual necessity that I left my husband and came with my two children to Russia, in the early post-Soviet period, when there was no food on the shelves of the stores. For some unexplainable reason I had an irrepressible need to experience the Russian soil, in which thousands of Orthodox Christians who sacrificed their blood. At the same time I was cognizant of my own sinful nature, and the sins of my ancestors as inherited by me. In my heart there arose a continuous longing to repent, not only for myself, but for all the world. It became apparent to me that Orthodox Christians everywhere needed to repent for Russia, if she was to be forgiven for the horrors of the last century; that the prayer and repentance of each one of us matters for each and every other one, whether in this world or the next.

Over the course of the first years in Russia In 2005 I stopped taking interns and started devoting my time to the church, to my children and to my rapidly growing practice as a homeopath.

In 2001 I started singing in church choir and immediately appreciated the saying, "singing in church is twice praying." Singing the prayers and reading them, as the case calls for it, became the deepest joy of my life. It took me about a year to start reading and singing easily in Church Slavonic and it's amazing how only this ancient language carries, for me, the full depth and meaning of the prayers. One feels a sense of the entire Byzantine world in its varied tones, shades, and ethnic influences, carried through to our time in an uninterrupted chain of believers.

I spend most of my time doctoring the sick with the help of homeopathy - a method favored by many saints of the past century, including St. John of Kronshadt and St. Ignatius. The main goal of my therapeutic work is that a person comes to God; if I have in any way assisted him to that end, I feel my strivings are not in vain. Hundreds of sick come to me from all over Russia every month, with every imaginable illness, from eczema to cancer. This work is my obedience.

My husband is Russian and was contemplating the monastery when God brought us together, not without the help of St. Spiridon of Trimifunt. We are blessed to spend our summers on Corfu, Greece, in the company of St. Spiridon.

What each one of us needs is the courage to make a podvig, an act of spiritual heroism. It seems to me that only through such a life can we move just a small bit in direction of restoring the image of God in which we were created.
It is so wonderful to find this community.

#52 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 10:41 PM

Dear Melaniya,
what a wonderfull life story welcome to Monachos.

In the Risen Christ.
Daniel,

#53 Todd G

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 03:50 PM

what an amazing story! everyone should read it. very inspiring.

#54 Martin R Davis

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:07 PM

Christ is Risen!

Hello everyone. I am a new member to the forum and it is good to see so many fans of Orthodoxy in one place!

I have a speckled history in my faith "journey." I was, and perhaps still am, a life long seeker. I have "journeyed" through almost every religion - starting with the Baha'i Faith to Hinduism, Buddhism, Evangelical Christianity to Orthodoxy. I was chrismated in the Orthodox church in 2006 - but "converted" to Catholicism in 2008.

I would love the East and West to be be re-united, but there are so many obstacles....many of the Eastern Orthodox jurisdictions are so parochial that it is hard to tell what's a cultural tradition versus a church tradition. The Roman Catholic branch, on the other hand, has added so many "extra" superstitious beliefs to the faith that it is losing its bearings.

So, I am torn between the two. I love the deep mystical aspect of the Orthodox; but I find that Catholicism has done a much better job of adapting to diverse cultures. I also like that I can attend Mass more frequently. The Orthodox services are more beautiful, but tend to be marathons of stamina that is very hard to maintain in today's environment.

I'm hoping to share some good insights on these forums, and I am happy that I found you.

#55 Dennis Justison

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 12:25 PM

Welcome Martin,

I can identify with atleast part of your journey. I began in the Lutheran Church (ELCA), became Catholic, and have explored Orthodoxy. I incorporate bits and pieces of Buddhism because I enjoy the meditation and much of the teaching fits well into my life and Christianity. I don't know if wandering is bad or not, but I have certainly learned a lot. I have a hunch that you have too. You will enjoy your time here and getting to know the people. I wish I had more time to read and post, but I have fun with what I can do. Welcome and peace be with you.

#56 Todd G

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 04:02 AM

hi Martin,

I was a catholic for some 15 years, having grown up evangelical and spent alot of years with Buddhism too. But have a look at the chapter in Clark Carlton's book: The Faith: what Every Roman Catholic Should Know about Orthodoxy, the chapter on ecclesiology. The Roman catholic notion that the early church was all run out of Rome and with a supradiocesanal structure based on the idea that St. Peter was equal to Rome as a city, is just plain fiction. Therefore, so are a few other Roman catholic ideas. I hope for accord between orthodoxy and Rome too, but returning to the counciliar ecclesiology of the early church and dropping papal infallibility would be a good start.

#57 Andrew Cadogan

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 09:48 AM

Hi, my name is Robert Cadogan and I've just recently been called to Orthodoxy at 22 years of age. I know it is my place and I am honored to serve and be amongst the faithfull in Christ. In my youth I was raised Lutheran at Immanuel church and school in Orange California. I had a falling out period as I reached adulthood, but the Lord truly crossed my path. It is my intention to make up for my rejection as I cursed him, he blessed me with Orthodoxy. I am not worthy of this honor and I will make the most of being in this community and will do what I can to support it. Glory be to God and may the son of God have mercy on me a sinner.

#58 Andrew Smith

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:33 AM

Christ is Risen!

My name is Andrew Smith. I converted to Orthodoxy after a long search from a non-believing background, and was received into the Church at 17. I reside in Brisbane, Australia, and I've studied a bunch of degrees and the St Stephen's Course, and recently wrote an ebook on Orthodoxy. This year, I was ordained to the subdiaconate for a small parish that serves in English, and am struggling to figure out what exactly I'm supposed to do in services now :)

I have a longer biography on http://introductiont...t-andrew-smith/, but the above is probably enough for most :)

#59 Justin B.

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 01:37 AM

Hello from Texas! I am new to Orthodoxy and am learning/growing everyday. I am coming to Orthodoxy from atheism. To be called to faith by the Lord is the greatest gift I have ever received. Christ is risen!

#60 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:20 AM

He is Risen Indeed.

Welcome, Robert Cadogan, Sub-Deacon Andrew Smith, and Mr Justin B..

In the Risen Christ.
Daniel,




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